ZTE may have decided to shut down its Hawkeye handset, but fans of the Chinese phone maker’s products will have something to look forward to during this year’s Mobile World Congress, scheduled to happen this coming February 27th until March 2nd in the beautiful city of Barcelona in Spain. This is because the company is expected to showcase a new smartphone that is capable of supporting connection speeds of up to 1 gbps.
ZTE’s gigabit phone is considered to be one of the first to have support for gigabit LTE, and will also come with 360 degree panoramic virtual reality video, plus instant cloud storage, among many other features.
This newest smartphone offering from ZTE is rather timely, considering that many wireless carriers in the United States are currently busy racing to accomplish 1 gbps connections speeds before the end of 2017. Recently, major US mobile operator AT&T has claimed that it should be able to achieve peak theoretical connection speeds of up to 1 gbps at selected cellular sites this year. Another Big Four carrier, Sprint, is expecting to reach 1 gbps speed by way of its licensed spectrum utilizing 256 QAM, massive MIMO and three channel carrier aggregation. T-Mobile also has vowed to be the first to offer gigabit connection speeds in America.
For its Hawkeye smartphone (aka Project CSX), ZTE had launched a Kickstarter campaign in the hopes of raising $500,000. Unfortunately, the project only managed to raise a little over $36,200. This particular device was supposed to sport features that had been crowdsourced and then approved by prospective owners of the handset. ZTE, however, has chosen to scrap the project and reevaluate its strategy.
As indicated in a blog post on the Kickstarter page, ZTE stated that it opted not to pursue the Hawkeye smartphone project any further based on feedback received on Kickstarter as well as from the company’s own Z-Community forum. But this does not necessarily mean Project CSX is completely biting the dust -- ZTE is actually looking to further develop the Kickstarter campaign’s winning crowdsourced idea, and maybe feature in future mobile devices produced by the Chinese mobile manufacturer. For those not following the project closely, the winning idea is an eye tracking functionality that comes with self adhesive backing.
Meanwhile, a little more than a week ago, ZTE rolled out a new software update to its Axon 7 smartphone, making the device the latest to become compatible with Google’s Daydream virtual reality platform, and in the process, joining a list that only includes the Pixel devices, the Moto Z, the Huawei Mate 9 Pro, and the Asus ZenFone AR.
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